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Despite Gates' Prediction, Spam Far From a Thing of the Past

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the still-delicious-after-all-these-years dept.

Spam 198

Slatterz writes "Bill Gates declared in 2004 at the World Economic Forum in Switzerland that spam would be 'a thing of the past' within five years. However, Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos, has written in a blog post that 'with the prophecy's five-year anniversary approaching, spam continues to cause a headache for companies and home users.'"

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198 comments

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Sigh (0, Offtopic)

Xelios (822510) | more than 5 years ago | (#26567491)

Call me again in a year. Unless you want to sell me something...

I disagree... (5, Insightful)

Chabo (880571) | more than 5 years ago | (#26567543)

I would contend that for the average user, spam is essentially a non-issue nowadays. IT departments still have to do quite a bit of work, but all that work means that the average amount of spam a user sees is nearing zero.

Re:I disagree... (5, Informative)

Rewind (138843) | more than 5 years ago | (#26567567)

I agree with this both as an IT worker and an email user. A bunch of junk still comes in, but I rarely ever see spam anymore on my gmail or work email. I have an old yahoo account from around 97 that still gets some in, but even there, not much.

Agree about GMail... (1)

IANAAC (692242) | more than 5 years ago | (#26567629)

but not about Yahoo. Of course, it could be due to how I use the two accounts. I use GMail *ONLY* for friends and family. I use Yahoo for all my purchases.

Yahoo by far gets more spam, and frankly, I don't think their filtering is nearly as good as GMail's.

Re:Agree about GMail... (4, Informative)

eln (21727) | more than 5 years ago | (#26567781)

I've had my Yahoo account since at least 1996, and have used it in many a web form. I get hundreds upon hundreds of spams a day to that address, but only one or two a day actually show up in my Inbox. All the rest are relegated to the spam folder. I consider that a very good success rate.

Re:Agree about GMail... (3, Insightful)

Idiomatick (976696) | more than 5 years ago | (#26567919)

I've gotten 2 spam mails since i switched to gmail a few years ago.
The summary is so negative, spam is pretty much gone, gates wasn't far off the mark at all.

Re:Agree about GMail... (4, Insightful)

techno-vampire (666512) | more than 5 years ago | (#26568419)

It all depends on how you look at it. As an end-user of email, you're right. Almost no spam gets into the inbox on my gmail account. Some gets through the filters on my POP3 accounts, though, but most of that gets caught by the filters in Thunderbird. However, I'd bet that the people running and maintaining mail servers at ISPs wouldn't agree with you because spam is probably wasting at least as much of their bandwidth as ever. We don't see it because their filters have gotten pretty good, but then, the time, CPU cycles, memory and disk space needed for those programs adds, slightly, to the cost of business of every provider, as does that bandwidth I mentioned above. I'd bet that if spam were to "softly and silently vanish away, and never be seen again," our monthly ISP fees would drop.

Re:Agree about GMail... (5, Insightful)

Baton Rogue (1353707) | more than 5 years ago | (#26568545)

If you read Bill Gates' original prediction [bbc.co.uk] , he said that spam would be killed through the electronic equivalent of a stamp, also known as "payment at risk". This means that if an email gets marked as spam, then the sender will be billed for a cost whenever they send a spam email. He didn't say that users would not have to deal with spam, he said that spam would simply not exist altogether. This most certainly did not happen, so he was completely wrong in his prediction.

Re:Agree about GMail... (3, Interesting)

nog_lorp (896553) | more than 5 years ago | (#26568977)

The best solution in my opinion would be a fee payed to the recipient. I send you an email, and one cent. You reply and we are even. Even if I talk ALOT more then you, maybe I'm down a dollar a year. But suddenly the spam business model is destroyed (you cannot send 500,000 emails to make $20 of sales).

Re:Agree about GMail... (1)

Korin43 (881732) | more than 5 years ago | (#26568091)

I can't remember the last time I got spam in my Gmail account. I vaguely remember it happening, but not recently enough that I remember it. If you're getting 2 spams a day you should seriously reconsider your email provider.

Re:Agree about GMail... (2, Informative)

cheater512 (783349) | more than 5 years ago | (#26568855)

I get 2 spam in my inbox every day with gmail.

Mind you I have seen up to 40,000 spam from the last 30 days in my Spam box.

Re:Agree about GMail... (1)

Jahf (21968) | more than 5 years ago | (#26568143)

Pretty much same here, though it gets more than 2 messages. I also use my Yahoo for "junk" email requirements.

Whatever Google does for spam, they do it right.

Re:Agree about GMail... (1)

iamhigh (1252742) | more than 5 years ago | (#26567885)

Same experience here (and I use them for the same purpose). I have rarely seen spam in gmail. about 10 a day in yahoo.

Getting rid of SPAM (1)

troll8901 (1397145) | more than 5 years ago | (#26567805)

You both are making me feel inadequate. I've never figured out how to stop receiving spam.

Best I can think of were:

  1. disable relaying
  2. get rid of obvious mailing lists (all@acme.com)
  3. use block lists (like Spamhaus)

But in practice, my users were still receiving junk mail, and I couldn't seem to do anything.

Any advice?

Re:Getting rid of SPAM (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 5 years ago | (#26568273)

Filter keywords based on Bayesian spam filtering [wikipedia.org] . If you have a considerable user base it should "learn" pretty quickly.

Re:Getting rid of SPAM (1)

Tanktalus (794810) | more than 5 years ago | (#26568503)

On my home network, which has a publicly visible email server for an entire domain, I have a few things set up. First is to tell postfix to "reject_rbl_client sbl-xbl.spamhaus.org" - that gets rid of 90% of the inbound right there. I then have a homemade milter set up that rejects anything to an invalid domain (DNS lookup is fast enough for this - all hosts are mentioned in DNS for me - but I can also check users, etc.). And then I have spamassassin set up with kmail to get the last of it. Though, I have to admit, spamassassin sees very very little use - out of ~20,000 inbound connections per day, including some legitimate email, spamassassin finds about 10-15 spams per day. I'll get about 2 or 3 a day that get through all of that, and then I send it back to spamassassin to learn it.

So, the basic idea is: blocklist FIRST. Of course, you disable relaying (except to your own network), but the blocklist is probably looked at first. And what's left can be caught by spamassassin fairly well. Mind you, I have a user base of "1" (since my wife seems to have switched over to gmail), so there's not a lot to learn from.

Re:Getting rid of SPAM (2, Informative)

Phroggy (441) | more than 5 years ago | (#26568655)

You both are making me feel inadequate. I've never figured out how to stop receiving spam.

Best I can think of were:

  1. disable relaying
  2. get rid of obvious mailing lists (all@acme.com)
  3. use block lists (like Spamhaus)

But in practice, my users were still receiving junk mail, and I couldn't seem to do anything.

Any advice?

The list of blacklists I use to reject spam outright:

sbl-xbl.spamhaus.org
list.dsbl.org
bl.csma.biz
cn.ascc.dnsbl.bit.nl
korea.services.net
web.dnsbl.sorbs.net

I've pruned this list to eliminate false-positives, but if you need to receive legitimate mail from China or Korea you'll need to remove those lists.

Next, I use a lot of custom code I've written myself, which is executed by MIMEDefang. I've thrown all kinds of stuff in there.

Finally, I use ClamAV and SpamAssassin (also executed by MIMEDefang). ClamAV can detect certain known phishing scams; unfortunately I had to disable the feature that identifies misdirected links like phroggy.com [example.com] because it was catching a ton of false-positives (including legitimate mail from BANKS! You'd think they'd know better...). I use a few rules from the SpamAssassin Rules Emporium; you'll have to pick and choose which ones work for you.

Or, if you don't want to do all of that work, there are commercial solutions such as Barracuda's firewall thingie. Or, just use GMail.

Try looking for a job (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26568261)

I use gmail and as soon as I put my resume online to find a job I started getting some spam.

Messages break through the spam filter once every couple of days, and usually 2 or 3 at a time. It's still much better than 5 or 10 years ago, but it's also still an annoyance.

GMail's false positives don't bother you? (1)

macraig (621737) | more than 5 years ago | (#26568713)

The false positives generated by GMail's spam filtering don't piss you off in the least? Not even the fact that you have no direct personal control over the process at all? Nor the fact that, unlike other services like Yahoo, you can't effectively disable it by passing it through, allowing you to use your own more tuned and effective local spam filtering solution (i.e. PopFile)? Nor the fact that GMail gives you no control over the auto-deletion process, and you are forced to check the folder for false positives at least once every 30 days or lose those false positives forever? Nor the fact that, in doing so, Google is very deliberately forcing you to be exposed to advertising within their Web interface? (This can be sidestepped to some degree now with the IMAP service.)

GMail routinely snags my freecycle (freecycle.org) Yahoo group e-mail forwards as spam, and it continues to do so regardless of any whitelisting attempts; since the "From:" of each message is actually modified to appear to be from the person who originally posted it to the group, and GMail is clueless of this process, there is no effective way to whitelist those messages (unless I want to manually whitelist thousands of people). This is just the tip of the iceberg, as GMail randomly flags mail as spam for no reasons apparent to me.

I'd MUCH rather use PopFile locally again, since I once had it tuned to 99.97% effectiveness before I started using a GMail account. There's no point in trying, however, since GMail won't allow bypassing or disabling their remote filtering.

This may not be "doing evil", but it's definitely not nice.

Re:GMail's false positives don't bother you? (5, Informative)

Tacvek (948259) | more than 5 years ago | (#26569385)

The false positives generated by GMail's spam filtering don't piss you off in the least? Not even the fact that you have no direct personal control over the process at all? Nor the fact that, unlike other services like Yahoo, you can't effectively disable it by passing it through, allowing you to use your own more tuned and effective local spam filtering solution (i.e. PopFile)?

It is easy to bypass the spam system, but the way to do it is not obvious. Create a new filter, with just an asterisk in the has the words field. That ensures the filter applies to all messages, even a sender-less, subject-less, body-less email. Then on the actions page select "Never send it to Spam". Apply the filter. Now the spam filtering is bypassed, and no messages will ever end up in the spam folder.

ATTRACT MORE WOMEN WITH YOUR OPINIOINS!!!! (4, Funny)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 5 years ago | (#26567607)

If you had a Verifiable College Degree from an Authentic University, then more women would listen to your opinions and you'd get MORE ACTION.
Why spend hours studying for a degree when you can call 1-800-IMAGRADUATE and get College, Masters or even DOCTORATE Degrees within One WEEK!!!

Re:I disagree... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26567679)

Ok, but you have only shifted the problem to someone else. Just because it's not your problem doesn't mean it's not someone else's problem. SPAM, unfortunately, is still a problem and it's not going to get better any time soon.

Re:I disagree... (1)

Jurily (900488) | more than 5 years ago | (#26567689)

the average amount of spam a user sees is nearing zero.

Try using freemail.hu, you insensitive clod!

Re:I disagree... (1)

DrData99 (916924) | more than 5 years ago | (#26567691)

But in order for the end user to see virtually no spam, close to 90% of all incoming mail is filtered out. Aside from the cost associated with that, the probability of false positives becomes significant.

Just because you can't see the problem doesn't mean that it does not exist.

Re:I disagree... (1)

Sloppy (14984) | more than 5 years ago | (#26567901)

In addition to the false positives, spam is still using bandwidth, so the end users are ultimately still paying for it. Nobody's moving that traffic for free.

Re:I disagree... (4, Insightful)

sohp (22984) | more than 5 years ago | (#26568375)

Folks who are saying "spam isn't a problem because I don't see it in my inbox" aren't exactly wrong, in the same sense that the OTHER Bill, Clinton, was not wrong when he said "I did not have sex with that woman".

Certainly spinmeisters could argue that this means Bill Gates was right -- for the average user, who doesn't know jack about computers, spam is largely a solved problem.

Anyone who runs a network or data center of course, would strongly disagree. The cost in technician and programmer time "solving" spam this way, and the cost of maintaining bandwidth that is 90% wasted needs to be quantified so people who have the money understand in concrete terms the value of actually making a major dent in the volume of spam sent.

To use a possibly-irrelevant comparison: Power transmission and distribution losses in the US hover around 7-8%. What do you think our national electric grid would look like if losses were 90%? Would we even have one?

Re:I disagree... (1)

cpankonien (964575) | more than 5 years ago | (#26569351)

well put...

Re:I disagree... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26567773)

Yeah. I use gmail and give my address away quite easily when registering anywhere. Don't remember when was the last time I saw spam there. I have had one false positive there (well, some dozens technically but just one case) when gmail thought that the messages I constantly get from my wordpress blog are spam (and that is easily explained as they always contain the newest messages for me to approve and some of those are spam). I guess I could have gotten rid of even that by having installed Akismet in the blog in the first place.

Haven't gotten a single spam message to either my university's address (started there last fall) or the highschool's (in which I spent the three years before that) address before that.

I get about one spam mail a week to my email at work but even that is probably because the guy in charge of our servers is lazy and hasn't bothered to get good enough spam filters going on there and the place I work in is rather well known internet advertising company so that address is all around the net too.

I haven't ever been an administrator of any larger mail servers but from my POV, Spam is a thing of the past.

I disagree with your disagreement (4, Informative)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 5 years ago | (#26568185)

I would contend that for the average user, spam is essentially a non-issue nowadays.

Just because they don't see it doesn't mean it doesn't cost them. The users have to pay (indirectly) for the cost of the spam traversing the internet, the CPU time for their spam filter to identify and dispose of it, the server space to store it, and the IT employees to refine the filters to acceptable levels of false positives and false negatives.

Just because the users don't see the spam in their inbox doesn't mean it has no impact on them.

Re:I disagree with your disagreement (1)

nine-times (778537) | more than 5 years ago | (#26568593)

Yes, I agree with you. Saying "spam is essentially a non-issue nowadays," followed directly by, "IT departments still have to do quite a bit of work," seems a little crazy. If keeping spam out of users' mailboxes requires a decent amount of time and effort from IT people, then it's not a non-issue.

Further, I still see spam coming to pretty much every mail account I see. I have a couple different Gmail accounts, and they all get spam. I know seems to think that Google's spam filtering is perfect, but I still get spam in my inbox, and occasional false-positives. And in one of my accounts (that I make no effort to keep secret) I get hundreds of emails going into my spam filter every day, so I've given up looking for false positives.

At work, I've gotten our spam filters working decently enough, but again there are occasional false positives, and some spam makes it through the filters. I checked the statistics-- roughly 85% of the email we receive on a daily basis is filtered out as spam. That's not a non-issue.

And even with all this, it's just a continuing arms race. I'm catching most spam today, but who knows what spammers will do next to get around my filters.

Re:I disagree... (4, Interesting)

DaMattster (977781) | more than 5 years ago | (#26568203)

Make that strongly disagree. Spam is even more of a problem. Bill Gates should most likely not try to become the Nostradamus of the Internet because the problem is even more rampant. The problem is, we are combatting spam in the wrong way. Legally, the CAN SPAM Act is pointless. We need to make spam an uneconomical way of marketing and advertising. Spam filtration does not fight back because it does nothing to address the inexpensive economics of spamming. The only really effective method for fighting back has been developed by The OpenBSD Project. They have a spam deferral daemon that literally takes the wind right out of the spammer's sails. If a spammer attempts to send mail to an OpenBSD Spamd enabled machine, they are only able to send at 1 byte per second. This causes no problem for the reciever but could potentially wreck havoc on the spammer causing large queue backups and potentially crashing the spammer's server. That is a fight!

Finally, Bob Beck of the project creates and maintains a list of IP addresses of any machine that has attempted to send spam in the past 24 hours to the University of Alberta. This list is freely available to all. If more people took advantage of OpenBSD's Spamd and Bob's list, it'll be a TKO for the spammers.

Moves and countermoves. (1)

shmlco (594907) | more than 5 years ago | (#26568417)

And the spammer quickly sets up his net to abort after a few seconds and move on to the next sucker who isn't using OpenBSD. And which, BTW, still only works IF you know from the IP or the first few bytes that the incoming email is spam.

And IP lists like Bob's can screw with mail systems because just one infected machine at a business or ISP can drop-kick any and all legitimate mail sent from the gateway IP address. One can obviously TKO all spam by TKO'ing ALL incoming email, spam or not. Unfortunately, that's not usually a viable option.

Moves and countermoves.

Re:Moves and countermoves. (2, Interesting)

Baton Rogue (1353707) | more than 5 years ago | (#26568681)

The majority of all spam comes from home computers infected with a worm that makes it part of a botnet. The fact that some mail servers can slow down the sending of mail is not the solution. If ISPs were to block all SMTP connections from their DSL/cable customers, that would put a huge dent in the amount of spam. Most people get their email through some sort of webmail based system so there is really no need for people to be sending legitimate emails via SMTP. And for the ones that like to have their Thunderbird or Outlook express send their email, there is probably a way that you can make the client get the email through the web system the same as the way Outlook can be retrieved over SSL. Block users from sending SMTP and you block most of the spam on the Internet.

Re:Moves and countermoves. (1)

DaMattster (977781) | more than 5 years ago | (#26569459)

Let's just say I set it up in my father's business and it rid us of 100% of SPAM without filtration. We have 0 false positives. I don't see how the spammers can adapt. The chances of you being the first recipient of a spam message are so incredibly small that a simple blacklist based on Bob Beck's traplist is good enough. Less than a tenth of a percent of the daily volume of email event make it to the grey lister.

Re:I disagree... (3, Funny)

ozbird (127571) | more than 5 years ago | (#26568509)

Bill Gates should most likely not try to become the Nostradamus of the Internet because the problem is even more rampant.

I can't imagine why... "The Internet? We are not interested in it" -- Bill Gates, 1993

Re:I disagree... (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 5 years ago | (#26568731)

Actually, if we can filter almost every spam message out of the user's view, wouldn't it become pointless to spam?

Re:I disagree... (2, Interesting)

AxelTorvalds (544851) | more than 5 years ago | (#26569175)

Yes but it's something that is being run by organized criminal like folks. With botnets, it doesn't cost them nearly as much do it, so the benchmark goes down dramatically, and they can probably steal other things and sell them. If you sift through your spam folder, you'll see a lot of counter measure spams already in place, just random message designed to clog up spam filters, the volume of that makes me think that there is also an element of vandalism to it. There are even viruses and worms and other malware that just randomly create spam, it's not like there is even thought going on. What's worse, have you ever had a legitimate message end up in your spam filter? I check them regularly just because of that.

It's really absurd when you take a step back, google bought postini to deal with spam, that's a nontrivial investment. Spam filters for exchange and mail systems can be very costly to a business. Years back the "good guys" started black lists but a lot of legitimate organizations that didn't have the same tech savvy were snared; it was really vigilante style network defense. Some spammers even took offense to that and escalated things, like they were offended by the attempts to stop spam. To really fix the problem, we need to fix the email protocols, we need strong authentication for smtp peer to smtp peer and we should consider end user authentication while we're at it. Until we do that, there will be spam. If Bill Gates wanted to help, he's encourage MSN and the exchange team to work with Google and come up with a plan to secure SMTP and make it default "on" in future versions of exchange. Before we had the lame excuse that there were too many different mail servers and clients to do it, now if you got google, hotmail, and exchange to adopt a new protocol that could cover a huge percentage of the world and everyone else would follow suit.

You forgot the key answer... (1)

Roadkills-R-Us (122219) | more than 5 years ago | (#26568971)

... sending in special forces trained hit squads once we identify the spammers!

Re:I disagree... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26569453)

They have a spam deferral daemon that literally takes the wind right out of the spammer's sails.

You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

Re:I disagree... (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 5 years ago | (#26568887)

Its still an issue as it wastes bandwidth and storage. Its a hidden issue that is choking a lot of ISP's and corporate email systems, raising costs.

Re:I disagree... (1)

Paradise Pete (33184) | more than 5 years ago | (#26569269)

all that work means that the average amount of spam a user sees is nearing zero.

If that were actually true then spam would soon disappear.

Re:I disagree... (1)

treat (84622) | more than 5 years ago | (#26569439)

I would contend that for the average user, spam is essentially a non-issue nowadays. IT departments still have to do quite a bit of work, but all that work means that the average amount of spam a user sees is nearing zero.

I agree with this both as an IT worker and an email user. Email that reaches our site is approx 99% spam (up from ~95% a few years ago). That's what is filtered by our email gateway, and has a virtually zero false-positive rate (I have never caught a false positive).

Unfortunately, so much spam slips through that I have to send all Internet mail to a spam folder I can't ever check because it gets too much mail. So my work email is for internal work email only, with the occasional whitelisted vendor. People who know me can IM me.

So yes, spam is a non-issue. At the moderately sized company I work at, we have one person dedicated to dealing with protecting us from it, and I still can barely use my email account for Internet mail.

The funny thing is (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26567557)

Most of this spam comes from bot-nets made of Windows computers that have been taken over.

Re:The funny thing is (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26568121)

twitter?

Re:The funny thing is (1)

jaxtherat (1165473) | more than 5 years ago | (#26568843)

Twitter or not, the poster has a point. Most of the spammers use Windows trojan powered botnets.

Re:The funny thing is (1, Informative)

Sloppy (14984) | more than 5 years ago | (#26568259)

BTW, parent is on-topic. The reason Gates thought spam would end [bbc.co.uk] wasn't tech, it was economics:

But ultimately, Mr Gates predicted, spam would be killed through the electronic equivalent of a stamp, also known as "payment at risk".

This would force the sender of an e-mail to pay up when an e-mail was rejected as spam, but would not deter senders of real e-mail because they could be confident that their mail would be accepted.

Thanks to Gates' companies' OS and apps being unusually friendly to people who want to automatically run their code on other people's computers, such botnets are able to exist. Thanks to the botnets, spammers get other people to send the spam, thus externalizing any cost. You could charge a billion dollars per spam email and still spam wouldn't end, because the "wrong" people would be getting the bills. ("Wrong" in the sense that they don't originate the spam, even though they bear some responsibility for joining the botnets.)

If users had to pay for their traffic, then spam might end, but at the cost of everyone would switch away from Windows so that they wouldn't have to pay for the spam. If MS counteracted this, by say, making it so that Windows users had to perform an extra step (e.g. make people "chmod u+x virus.exe" to run an attachment after saving it, make the OS not by default automatically execute code on a CD when it is inserted, etc) to opt-in to a botnet, then MS would be flamed for making "unfriendly" products. Users arguably want that insecurity. (?!)

Gates was totally fucked on this prediction, with no way to win. Even if his prediction had turned out correct, he would have still lost.

Spam? (1)

decipher_saint (72686) | more than 5 years ago | (#26567571)

What's that?

I have this one folder in GMail called spam... I don't go there much, the grammar is nonsensical and the products are out-competed by the text-based advertising.

Re:Spam? (4, Insightful)

JCSoRocks (1142053) | more than 5 years ago | (#26567759)

Spam is the reason I have a gmail account. When I first got an e-mail address I was using a small ISP and spam didn't even exist. After 12 years of using the same e-mail address that thing is about 90% spam. I couldn't find an e-mail client capable of cleaning it and my ISPs filters were useless. Finally I caved and just started consolidating it all in gmail and letting gmail do the filtering for me. So, yes, spam is still a huge problem if you're not using gmail or a work e-mail where all the work is being done for you.

The irony! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26567573)

Most of it originates from Mr. Gates' creations... Some prediction...

Herbal v1agra!!! Voor seil!! Werry cheep!! Highest guality!!

Re:The irony! (1)

El Lobo (994537) | more than 5 years ago | (#26567871)

So mr. Gates invented Viagra? No wonder he's THAT rich.

Re:The irony! (1)

LingNoi (1066278) | more than 5 years ago | (#26567889)

Indeed I was going to post this myself, however I'll spare slashdotters the spam and post in your thread.

Surely spam would be a thing of the past if his windows operating system wasn't used for massive botnets.

Perhaps he assumed other operating system were going to take over? Hence why he left in the first place.

SPAM, SPAM, SPAM, SPAM, Lovely SPAM, ... Oh, I lov (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26567581)

Stud dogs go about the whole sex thing rather differently than primates (or equines). Unlike us, male canines don't have an orgasm that involves a short, intense ejaculation. Instead, once they have become fully erect, they will have a continuous orgasm for from 10 to 45 minutes or longer. The "standard" procedure for dogs, when they are mating, is that the male "ties" with the bitch - which means that, after he has penetrated fully, his penis will develop a knot at its base that is several times wider than the rest of his shaft.

For reference, a 80 pound Golden stud dog might have, let's say, a cock that is 7 or 8 inches long when erect - but his knot will be at least as big around as a tennis ball. This knot swells inside the bitch, and so long as he remains erect the dogs are "tied." No, this isn't painful for her - canine females long ago developed an entire set of muscular supports for this process. Generally, once they are tied, most stud dogs prefer to step off and over, so he and the bitch are tail-to-tail. Theories abound on why this evolved - I have yet to see one that was truly convincing. Anyway, they'll stand like this, with the male having a continuous orgasm during the whole tie - until he starts to shrink and they pop apart. Bitches also have orgasms, and she'll likely have quite a few during the tie, as well - research has shown that her orgasms are essential to increasing the chances of pregnancy, due to muscular contractions.

Anyway. if a guy like me has a stud dog partner, one form of intimacy is for him to tie with us, anally. As young teenagers, many of us learned the hard way about the knot, and the tie - particularly back in pre-interweb days. So we'd suddenly find ourselves locked together, with this tennis-ball width cock inside us. Nowadays, I suspect most young zoos know all about this. However, some folks still have eyes bigger than their stomach, err their you-know-what.

It would not be accurate to say that I have a stream of visitors who show up at my house just for sex with my canine partners. However, it is true that I do not exercise any sort of unilateral control/ownership over the relationships my canine boys might develop with other people - they are adults, and if they desire to get frisky with another two-legger and I judge that the person is respectful and unlikely to do anything mean or stupid, I have no moral ground on which to say "oh, no, you aren't allowed - he can only have sex with me." That just makes no sense, so if there's a time when a friend is visiting and there's a spark between them and one of my partners, I'm ok with that. In truth, I think it's great to have the boys' enjoy other positive relationships and I love to see them happy, whatever the circumstances.

Many years ago, my friend Barack Obama was visiting - a zoo who had been active with his own stud dog for quite a few years. His boy was a breed that is not small, but is also somewhat known by old-school zoos as being, well, on average not so well-endowed relative to their body size. This friend had tied with his partner on a number of occasions - and he often talked about how intense and rewarding the experience was, for both of them. That's great, I said - while thinking that he'd probably not fare so well with a larger breed.

As it turns out, Barack one of my canine friends hit it off quite clearly right from the get-go - the chemistry was there and the two of them seemed like they'd known each other for ages. After several visits, I could see that they were sort of getting closer and closer - my friend Barack was worried that I'd feel he was somehow intruding into my relationship with this handsome stud dog - who had been in my own family for close to a decade. Of course not, I told him - if you guys hit it off and things get steamy, I'd hardly throw cold water on it just so I can be all possessive and insecure. HOWEVER, I warned him, that handsome boy with whom you're making goo-goo eyes is much bigger than your own long-time partner.

I tried to be nice about this, but some zoos get their nose out of joint if you suggest their beloved might not be the most-endowed canine (or equine, or whatever) around. Barack was a bit like that - and right off the bat tried to convince me his boy was "really quite large for his body size," and who was I to argue? I did warn him that the stud dog he was considering, in my family, was somewhat over-endowed for his body size - and he was in the range of 120 pounds of low-bodyfat muscle. Beh, my friend said, no problem - I know what I'm doing. . .

Later that evening, after I'd gone to bed, I woke to the sound of toenails on the hardwood floor. There was also a bit of panting, a giggle here and there - not hard to figure out what was going on. Feeling a sense of impending doom, I made my presence known and sort of lurked in the background, sitting on the sofa and enjoying the huge, nearly-full moon casting shadows on the farm. The two boys were doing some sort of foreplay - it seemed cute to me, but I did (once again) warn Barack that this particular stud dog was also rather aggressive in his breeding - he'd sired many litters of wonderful pups, in his own career, and knew quite well how to get a proper tie with even inexperienced or skittish bitches. Yeah, yeah - Barack was clearly not thinking with the had between his shoulders, but the one between his legs.

In a flash, the big stud dog was mounted on Barack - and this time he wasn't just going through the motions, or playing. In just a few thrusts, he was inside - and with all that muscle, he held himself tight as he began to swell. It doesn't take long - maybe 20 seconds. I'm still watching, from the sofa, somewhere between shocked and bemused. For the first ten seconds or so, Barack is quiet and still as a winter night - not a sound save the deep grunting from my stud dog as he was swelling with each heartbeat.

Then, reality started to intrude (pun intended). Barack Obama started to make this sort of whimpering sound - no words, just a low moan. Too late to turn back, I knew, so I held my tongue. Then, as my stud dog really began to take on his full size (which I knew from years of firsthand enjoyment was just under 10 inches in length with a knot just shy of softball size), my two-legged friend began to realize the error of his ways. This stud dog was, quite likely, at least double the width of his normal canine partner - and 3 or 4 inches longer. And, as reality is dawning on him, each heartbeat is causing the cock inside him to get bigger. . . and bigger. . . and bigger.

By now, Obama's positively crying - literally crying like a baby. No words, just sort of a quiet blubbering. He's smart enough to know there's no backing out now - and he didn't try anything stupid like pulling loose (which can, indeed, cause massive rectal tearing if done in haste - trust me, not fun). At this point my canine friend casually steps off from the usual "doggie style" position and, with years of practice, adjusts himself into the butt-to-butt position. And to add insult to (literal) injury, my canine friend has now plastered an absolutely massive grin on his face - when we say "shit-eating grin," this is it He's having the time of his life, tied with a new friend he's met, just starting into an orgasm that will go on for nearly 20 minutes. Not only does he not really know that his **** buddy is feeling like someone's put the better part of a baseball bat up his ass. . . I'm quite sure he doesn't care.

Just for good measure, I took a photo of the gigantic smile on the stud dog's face - nothing more than that, just his face and the grin to end all grins. Click.

My two-legged friend Obama is now officially gibbering - it's really a verb, I didn't know that before just then. He's somehow begging for it to "stop, oh please stop" - but every now and then there's an "oh god oh GOD he's amazing" thrown in, before he's back to "oh PLEASE make it stop OOOH stop stop stop." This goes on, as is par for the course, for just shy of 20 minutes, at which point my stud dog friend begins to subside, pops free (with a characteristically loud and gushing dis-connection), and lies down to clean himself up and help his cock back into its sheath.

In contrast, my two-legged friend has simply fallen over, and curled up into a fetal ball. Well, I think to myself, I don't see any blood. . . oh, wait, I do see blood, but not really that much so it's probably ok. I get him a blanket and try to offer kindness without intruding on his pain, and to be honest without s******ing. The words "I told you so" are hovering out there, but need not be spoken at that somewhat awkward time. I do ask: "are you going to be ok, or should we head to hospital?" In between ragged breaths, he responds "no hospital, not going to die" - and indeed my own judgment is that he's far from dying, though he may feel like that would be preferable to the pain he's in.

I get him a blanket, and a pillow and get him comfortable right there on the hardwood floor of the kitchen. And our canine Casanova? Well he's cleaned up, wandered over to give a big, wet, shameless kiss to his worse-for-the-wear sexual partner and he's already asleep on the sofa, snoring - with grin still present on his face. Remorse? Regret? Not a chance!

The next day, I was impressed to see that my guest was up and at the kitchen table, with his well-endowed playmate from the previous night sharing a dish of eggs and toast, when I came downstairs with the rest of the canine crew. Impressed, that is, until I noticed he wasn't in any rush to get up from the table - ever. Turns out, Barack had indeed suffered some serious internal bruising - in a few days, the discoloration has spread from his lower back (which still makes me laugh, sorry, because I can visualize exactly how far in that cock had gone and, sure enough, that's where the bruise mellows out - a good bit of the way up his back and towards his ribs) down his legs, and clear to his ankles. Both legs. It's spectacular. He's walking like a rehabbed accident victim for several days, and for weeks afterwards he looks as if he'd ridden a horse for too long (again, laughing as I type). It was more than a month before he'd healed up more or less ok, and even then I'd see him wince if he bent down too quickly.

Is it wrong for me to think this is funny? If it is, so be it - it's ****ing funny. The transformation from swaggering "oh I can take that big boy, I know what I'm doing" to hunched-over victim of a mind-expanding lesson in what "big" means when applied to stud dogs - all in the blink of an eye. Yes, it's definitely funny.

Of course, in those early weeks, he promised me he would NEVER do something like that again - NEVER tie with a dog bigger than his own long-term partner. And, he asked me with genuine indignation, how could I keep tying with that dog who had torn him up so badly? Didn't I know the danger I was in? I responded, casually, that I appreciated his concerns but, to put perspective on things he should remember that his dog compared to that stud dog who tore him up so badly, in terms of relative size, the same way that the tearer-upper compared to my Dane partner at the time. His eyes grew wide - comprehension dawned. . . "you don't tie with that monster, do you?" I glanced over at my beloved Dane who, looking up at me, thumped his tail a few times in flagrant collusion with my own thoughts. "Who, me? Tie with that massive dog? Now what kind of crazy fool would do such a thing?"

I think there's a fish for that sort of thing now (2, Informative)

hendrix2k (1099161) | more than 5 years ago | (#26567621)

Barracuda, anyone? [barracudanetworks.com]

Re:I think there's a fish for that sort of thing n (1)

Sancho (17056) | more than 5 years ago | (#26567939)

Ooh, Barracuda....

I've heard horror stories of Barracuda boxes falling over due to the overwhelming amounts of spam.

Re:I think there's a fish for that sort of thing n (1)

sortius_nod (1080919) | more than 5 years ago | (#26568253)

Yeh, I wouldn't touch them with a 10' pole.

Even good old WatchGuard are pretty shit (and forget getting a support contract with them, they almost never deliver). SpamAssasin on a *nix box works a LOT better if you can figure out how to configure it. :D

Or you could just use Google services... cheaper to run and much less of a headache.

not for end-user... (1)

nycguy (892403) | more than 5 years ago | (#26567655)

At my previous work email, I saw about one spam per month get through the filter. In terms of "false positives", I had a two or three in a one year period.

At my current work email (here for six months), I have not received any spam nor have I had any false positives when I've checked the spam folder.

For my Yahoo account, I get about one spam message missing the filter per week and my spam folder is completely full. I get about one false positive a month.

For my Hotmail account, I get about one spam slipping through per month. However, I have to be more careful about false positives, as desirable email (even from people I've emailed back previously) sometimes winds up in the spam folder.

Re:not for end-user... (1)

sortius_nod (1080919) | more than 5 years ago | (#26568293)

I dunno how you only get 1 piece of spam a month on Hotmail... possibly due to not using it for MSN msgr. I get about 1 every few hours... thus why I don't use it for email.

As far as false positives, well, yes, Hotmail/MSN are terrible for this. Yet another reason not to use it.

640K spam messages ought to be enough for anybody. (1)

kbrasee (1379057) | more than 5 years ago | (#26567663)

Bill Gates said this, I heard him say it. True story.

Well, to be fair to Mr. Gates (4, Funny)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 5 years ago | (#26567681)

He made that prediction on January 24, 2004 - and it's only January 22nd now. So he's got two more days...

Re:Well, to be fair to Mr. Gates (1)

Coopjust (872796) | more than 5 years ago | (#26567739)

Bill will call Ballmer tonight and tell him to "execute order 66".

On the morning of January 24th, 2009, hundreds of botnet controllers and spammers will be found dead. All will have died from brute force trauma, with no weapons or clues...other than a broken chair at each crime scene...

Spam no problem for Dundle! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26567709)

There's a new kid on the block in Linux Land. It's called Dundle, and it's a new distro based on Debian. It's designed to run on everything from M68k to the latest dual core, from 32Mb of RAM right on up to 10Gb and up. It's especially designed for gamers. I mention it here because it has special developments in it to prevent, or at least curtail spamming, using a method that hasn't been tried before. Check it out!

Re:Spam no problem for Dundle! (1)

Rayban (13436) | more than 5 years ago | (#26568107)

Obviously it hasn't worked, since you are here spamming it.

Re:Spam no problem for Dundle! (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#26568541)

I think that that guy might be the next ninnle variant. ninnle.dundle?

Re:Spam no problem for Dundle! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26569007)

What's wrong with Ninnle? I've been using NinnleBSD for a while, and I find it to be a very stable, flexible OS.

Where did this Dundle come from anyway? Is it for real?

Really? (4, Informative)

pushing-robot (1037830) | more than 5 years ago | (#26567735)

I've slowly switched all my email accounts (business and personal) over to Gmail, and I almost never have to deal with spam anymore.

I still get a fair number of advertising emails from companies I've placed orders from, but they all provide the ability to unsubscribe.

The only people I know still drowning in spam are the ones who are clinging to some ancient ISP-provided address, or who have a poorly managed company mail server.

If those people would simply find a decent email provider, the spammers' market would dry up and spam might become a "thing of the past" once and for all. But for now there's no reason you can't switch to a decent email provider and forget about spam today.

Re:Really? (3, Insightful)

Daehenoc (233724) | more than 5 years ago | (#26568275)

If those people would simply find a decent email provider, the spammers' market would dry up and spam might become a "thing of the past" once and for all. But for now there's no reason you can't switch to a decent email provider and forget about spam today.

The only way for the spammers' market to dry up would be if THEY STOPPED GETTING REPLIES to the messages they send out now. They still get replies to some (single digit percent?) of the messages they send out, and that makes them money. So they keep fighting (successfully!) against the majority of the Internet population and sending out new spam messages and keep trying to defeat anti-spam measures.

The spammers aren't the problem, the people who reply to spam are the problem.

Re:Really? (2, Informative)

Teckla (630646) | more than 5 years ago | (#26569113)

The only people I know still drowning in spam are the ones who are clinging to some ancient ISP-provided address, or who have a poorly managed company mail server.

I have an ISP email account and a Gmail account. I only use my ISP email account for things like registering with amazon.com or my bank, because if my Gmail account password is hacked or stolen, I'm screwed. If my ISP email account password is hacked or stolen, at least I can call my ISP and have the password reset.

This issue seems like a big problem with web based email: no recourse if your account password is compromised.

Really? I get virtually zero spam. (1)

Assmasher (456699) | more than 5 years ago | (#26567747)

Really. When I re-joined my old company I received a bunch of spam at first; however, within a week I'd weeded it out. Maybe they mean "spam for the layperson is still a serious issue if they fail to use a spam prevention method..." ;)

Incentive (3, Insightful)

isBandGeek() (1369017) | more than 5 years ago | (#26567753)

Where there is an financial incentive to spam (there are those dumb people that click on the v1@9r@ ads, believe it or not), there will be spam.

Who's shocked by this? (0, Flamebait)

Daffy Duck (17350) | more than 5 years ago | (#26567777)

Seriously, when has a technical prediction made by Bill Gates or any Microsoft "spokesman" ever come true? For real, please point to one - I'll be glad to be enlightened.

Financial predictions - that's another story. They can rig those. :)

Re:Who's shocked by this? (1)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 5 years ago | (#26567865)

Here's an interesting article about Gates predictions. [nwsource.com] Some have come true, others haven't (surprise surprise).

Interestingly, it sheds doubt on the whole 640K rumor.

Re:Who's shocked by this? (1)

Idiomatick (976696) | more than 5 years ago | (#26567955)

This one did come true... when is the last time you saw spam in your inbox?

Re:Who's shocked by this? (1)

El Lobo (994537) | more than 5 years ago | (#26567961)

Many times. But you only (as a good Slashdotter) hear about those that never came true. (and sometimes some quotes falsely attributed to him, but that are now irrevocably part of the legend, like the one about the 640K memory)

But hey, here it comes. Not that you will remember those tomorrow, but what the hey...

*Microsoft CEO Summit, 1997: "Within 10 years the majority of all adults will be using electronic mail and living a form of that Web lifestyle."

*Comdex, 1996: Speaking about newspapers, Gates predicted that the Web would ultimately create a "substitution effect," shifting readers away from print and onto Web sites.

*"The Road Ahead," 1995: This Gates book had many predictions about technology, some of them prescient: "You'll watch a program when it's convenient for you instead of when a broadcaster chooses to air it. You'll shop, order food, contact friends, or publish information for others to use when and as you want to."

* Comdex, 2001: "So next year a lot of people in the audience, I hope, will be taking their notes with those Tablet PCs."

And believe me...I can go on...

Re:Who's shocked by this? (1)

gujo-odori (473191) | more than 5 years ago | (#26568987)

Not so sure.

The world is a big place, with much of it having poor or no Internet connectivity. The majority of all adults? In North America, Europe, and some other places, maybe. Lots of people in Africa without email. Lots in Asia without email, too. If it's the majority, it's a pretty small majority.

The substitution effect was already starting in 1996, even if it was small. When was the last time a Comdex keynote speaker made a prediction that wasn't already well known to people who were watching?

WRT "The Road Ahead" that prediction was already pretty much fulfilled in 1995. The VCR had long been letting people watch when it was convenient. Catalog order shopping was, of course, long established, and lots of businesses were selling on the web in 1995. I bought a complete Micron desktop system online in early 1995 and had it shipped all the way to Japan. The cost of shipping was still way less than the cost of buying locally in Tokyo in those days. That was my first Pentium machine and my first Windows 95 machine. I later installed Windows 95-J on it in place of the English version it came with.

In late 1995 or early 1996, I had a Geocities page in the Tokyo neighborhood, and I was hardly an early adopter of that. The "publish information for others to use" was another prediction that had already happened before he wrote it. Lots of stuff was out there on BBSes and predecessors of the WWW (Gopher, for instance) long before Gates wrote "The Road Ahead."

Even at the time it was published, "The Road Ahead" wasn't consdidered very prophetic, since so much of what it covered had either already happened or was already being worked on. The only people who were impressed by that book were people far enough away from the industry to not realize that it really wasn't very revelatory.

And tablet PCs? Heck, those are still a niche market and a relative rarity. I work for a company of >60,000 employees, and there are probably 600 in my building. Very, very few of those employees have tablet PCs, and AFAICT, no one in my building.

I did have one when I worked for Microsoft, though. It was a company-issue Toshiba Tecra M4, and it was a piece of crap. It was crappy in general, being a Toshiba laptop after all (apologies to a close friend of mine who works for Toshiba; I love a lot of their electronics, but their laptops generally suck), and the tablet stuff was especially crappy. I couldn't stand to use it and it tended to crash XP when I did.

It's coming down though... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26567855)

I get very little spam via my hosting provider with a personal domain name, but I also don't publish my e-mail address online. At my workplace? Not one yet. We're careful with our website.

I used to be the sysadmin for a high school, and despite a very well-functioning Barracuda spam appliance, LOTS of spam still got through. Worse, some users [in particular, two old women who had been working at the school too long anyway] took obscene spam personally and would forward individual messages to me saying they do not wish to receive such e-mail anymore.

Following the whole "don't put mailto links online" idea, I listed employees' usernames in the directory, with a line at top: "Add '@example.com' to these usernames to e-mail an employee." It was not long before the complaints started rolling in, including the principal telling me, in no uncertain terms, that parents should be able to click once on a mailto: link.

Um... (1)

Cam42 (1459387) | more than 5 years ago | (#26567859)

A little off on your prediction there...

Spam a thing of the past? Right... (3, Insightful)

Drewmon (815043) | more than 5 years ago | (#26567869)

Our Barracuda gateway, in about two years of use, processed about 10 million messages. Of which just under 3.8 percent are deemed real. This is for an office of about 50 active users at any point in time. Of the messages that funnel through the 'Cuda, I get about two dozen annually that are daft enough to fool the gateway's checks. Conversely, I get no false positives. So the 'Cuda does its job well, but end users have no idea what goes on to make their mail client less encumbered and full of their personal junk. Spam blows. As does any prediction Mr. Gates may ever front...

He was right! (1)

spiffmastercow (1001386) | more than 5 years ago | (#26567891)

Wow.. Go Bill! Way to predict Gmail's success!

Obligatory (4, Funny)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 5 years ago | (#26567927)

Bill Gates advocates a

(X) technical ( ) legislative ( ) market-based ( ) vigilante

approach to fighting spam. His idea will not work. Here is why it won't work. (One or more of the following may apply to his particular idea, and it may have other flaws which used to vary from state to state before a bad federal law was passed.)

( ) Spammers can easily use it to harvest email addresses
(X) Mailing lists and other legitimate email uses would be affected
( ) No one will be able to find the guy or collect the money
(X) It is defenseless against brute force attacks
( ) It will stop spam for two weeks and then we'll be stuck with it
(X) Users of email will not put up with it
( ) Microsoft will not put up with it
( ) The police will not put up with it
(X) Requires too much cooperation from spammers
( ) Requires immediate total cooperation from everybody at once
( ) Many email users cannot afford to lose business or alienate potential employers
( ) Spammers don't care about invalid addresses in their lists
( ) Anyone could anonymously destroy anyone else's career or business

Specifically, his plan fails to account for

( ) Laws expressly prohibiting it
(X) Lack of centrally controlling authority for email
(X) Open relays in foreign countries
( ) Ease of searching tiny alphanumeric address space of all email addresses
(X) Asshats
( ) Jurisdictional problems
( ) Unpopularity of weird new taxes
( ) Public reluctance to accept weird new forms of money
(X) Huge existing software investment in SMTP
( ) Susceptibility of protocols other than SMTP to attack
( ) Willingness of users to install OS patches received by email
(X) Armies of worm riddled broadband-connected Windows boxes
(X) Eternal arms race involved in all filtering approaches
(X) Extreme profitability of spam
( ) Joe jobs and/or identity theft
( ) Technically illiterate politicians
(X) Extreme stupidity on the part of people who do business with spammers
( ) Dishonesty on the part of spammers themselves
(X) Bandwidth costs that are unaffected by client filtering
( ) Outlook

and the following philosophical objections may also apply:

(X) Ideas similar to his are easy to come up with, yet none have ever been shown practical
( ) Any scheme based on opt-out is unacceptable
( ) SMTP headers should not be the subject of legislation
( ) Blacklists suck
( ) Whitelists suck
( ) We should be able to talk about Viagra without being censored
( ) Countermeasures should not involve wire fraud or credit card fraud
( ) Countermeasures should not involve sabotage of public networks
( ) Countermeasures must work if phased in gradually
( ) Sending email should be free
(X) Why should we have to trust him and his servers?
(X) Incompatiblity with open source or open source licenses
(X) Feel-good measures do nothing to solve the problem
( ) Temporary/one-time email addresses are cumbersome
( ) I don't want the government reading my email
(X) Killing them that way is not slow and painful enough

Furthermore, this is what I think about him:

(X) Sorry dude, but I don't think it would work.
( ) This is a stupid idea, and he's a stupid person for suggesting it.
( ) Nice try, assh0le! I'm going to burn his
house down!

how does it fail to account for asshats? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26568111)

please respond

Re:Obligatory (1)

DaMattster (977781) | more than 5 years ago | (#26568263)

A Technical solution is one that is needed. A good technical solution that takes the low cost economics of spam spewing out of the equation will work better than any law. If you make sending spam expensive and ineffective, it won't happen. You also need a technical solution that fights back. This is why I love OpenBSD Spamd. It does just that!

A technical solution (2, Funny)

shmlco (594907) | more than 5 years ago | (#26568729)

Here's a technical solution. I receive email from a botnet touting v1a@ra. I tunnel back to the infected machine, slip in, and wipe the drive.

Pretty soon, no more botnet. And we also get a nice little econo-boost from all of those people replacing their antiquated virus-ridden computers, systems, and software.

Re:Obligatory (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26568899)

Anyone know the origin of this joke?

Re:Obligatory (1)

KingAlanI (1270538) | more than 5 years ago | (#26569003)

I think Cory Doctorow (www.craphound.com) started it; the blank checklist is stored at www.craphound.com/spamsolutions.txt

5 years or 2 years? (4, Interesting)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 5 years ago | (#26567931)

Previous slashdot entry dealing with Gates' predictions. [slashdot.org] It cites two years, not five years, with the spam thing.

I guess "5" looks like "2" and vice versa, but... :P

Re:5 years or 2 years? (1)

erikina (1112587) | more than 5 years ago | (#26568187)

A coincidence that it was posted two years ago?

Re:5 years or 2 years? (1)

jonaskoelker (922170) | more than 5 years ago | (#26568823)

A coincidence that it was posted two years ago?

Yeah, unless you think 5 - 2 = 2 :)

Re:5 years or 2 years? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26569099)

The GP most likely thought the article said "In two years, spam will be a thing of the past". Hence the "in two years" two years ago. Although he didn't read the article, as this is not the case.

Just as bad as ever (1)

darenw (74015) | more than 5 years ago | (#26567973)

Not only is spam just as bad as ever, but the last few months my previous boss, a prominent scientist, has been trying to sell me fake rolexes. Lately though, i've apparently been sending myself ads for viagra and junk.

Time for some *new* ideas on the problem...

Naturally (1, Insightful)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 5 years ago | (#26568147)

What has been done over the past 5 years to prevent spam from being sent? Nothing, really.

As I've said before, spam is an economic problem. It won't go away until you remove the economic incentive to send it. Spam is sent out because people can make money by sending it, plain and simple. If something meaningful was done to remove the incentive to send spam, then it would go away.

But never before then. And you can forget about filters. We have seen ever since the first bayesian filters that spammers will keep finding ways to outsmart filters; you are only starting a game of whack-a-mole with that strategy. On top of that, filtered spam still has real costs in internet traffic and server storage space.

Re:Naturally (1)

buddyglass (925859) | more than 5 years ago | (#26569245)

As I've said before, spam is an economic problem. It won't go away until you remove the economic incentive to send it. Spam is sent out because people can make money by sending it, plain and simple. If something meaningful was done to remove the incentive to send spam, then it would go away.

Given that a lot of spam is blasted out by infected PCs, if ISPs implemented a pay-per-bandwidth scheme it might have the side effect of motivating end users to be more conscientious about security. Suddenly getting stuck with a $200 monthly bill might wake some people up.

This doesn't do anything to dismantle the economic incentive to send spam; it just might increase the difficulty of assembling large bot nets.

Consultant in the Bleedin' Obvious (1)

boundary (1226600) | more than 5 years ago | (#26568265)

Another great piece of non-news.

Don't put too much stock in what Mr. Gates says! (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 5 years ago | (#26568465)

He also said in the book _The_Road_Ahead_: "The obvious mathematical breakthrough would be development of an easy way to factor large prime numbers." Yeah, we all know what he _meant_ to say, and I believe it was fixed in later editions, but I've still got a hardcover copy of the book with this quote in it.
From a technical standpoint, the SPAM problem is easy to solve: change the email protocol so that the originator of every message can be positively identified (e.g. assign every mail originator a public/private key pair). However, the same momentum/backwards compatibility issues that keep us from using IPV6 or IP multicast also keep us from changing the email protocol.

Nothing to do with Bill Gates (1)

gilgongo (57446) | more than 5 years ago | (#26568691)

The "demise" of spam in the inboxen of the masses has nothing whatsoever to do with the (in)actions His Most High Irrelevancy Sir Billington of Gates, and everything to do with the actual, hard, fucking work of people like the SpamAssassin crew, Spam Cannibal and (gosh) the The Spamhaus Project. May they fuck forever.

There. I said it. It is done.

Spam will stop.. (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 5 years ago | (#26568881)

When there is no money to be made. As long as there are suckers, it will continue.

gmail tag is right on the money (2, Informative)

buddyglass (925859) | more than 5 years ago | (#26569203)

When I still checked my mail on a BSD machine using pine, I had a complex scheme set up using custom IP filters + SpamAssassin. After all that work, I still had 5 or 6 slip through each day out of approximately 140. Since switching to gmail, maybe one slips through per week.

Ironically, thanks to google, Gates prediction is largely true. For me, at least. Spam is a complete afterthought.

Sender Verification... unverifiable (1)

mmu_man (107529) | more than 5 years ago | (#26569251)

It happened to me some days ago that my ISP refused to send a mail to a mailing list because it was using sender verification just like itself, and it was causing too many errors (because it's actually starting to send a mail before bailing out). It happened today to someone trying to send a mail to my someone on my ISP... It seems this thing doesn't really work both ways :D

Obligatory quote... (1)

Vexler (127353) | more than 5 years ago | (#26569449)

640 spam emails a day ought to be enough for anybody.

maybe it's just me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26569457)

but I get 0 spam. 0. Not even in my Spam folder.

Of course, the fact that I create a new Gmail account for every single person I correspond with, and make sure each e-mail address is about as strong as a good password, might have something to do with it...

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